I grew up happy. I went on lots of holidays… ate at restaurants on special occasions. My parents spent much more money on me than they ever did on themselves. They bought me up happy… but they’ve never earnt much. They’re both very hard working and have worked all of their lives, but they’ve never earnt more than minimum wage. A lot of people would say that this put me at a disadvantage in life, but that’s not true. In fact, I believe that my parent’s earnings put me at a greater advantage than most. I know how to live with less, and I know that spending less leads to a happier, more fulfilled life. Let’s explore this notion together.
The best gifts are always the thoughtful ones. It’s very easy to buy your loved one the latest gadgets or pay for them to go to a Spa. But nothing will beat the gifts which cost no money at all. Nothing will be more cherished than a gift which you’ve put time into.
Spending less invokes thoughtfulness. It forces you to think more not buy more. It cultivates the best experiences and makes you focus truly on what matters.
Spending less requires you to get creative. It requires you to analyze the best bits of what you enjoy and think about how you can improve this and make it better.
Creativity invokes happiness; it’s actually proven to improve your mood. It increases and renews brain function and it also relieves stress. But most importantly; it allows you to make things better. It allows you as a human to analyze a problem and improve upon the normal constructs which society has told you to follow.
The best adventures in life are free. Part of the beauty of an adventure is not knowing where you’ll end up. Spending less means that you won’t take the guided tour; you’ll find your own path, and there’s nothing more exciting!
Spending less makes you take the road less traveled. You aren’t living out someone else’s experiences; you’re creating your own; ones which are tailored to you and your preferences. It forces you to be adventurous and fills the thirst which every person has to explore the unknown.
Learning new things equate directly to spending less, but it can also directly affect your happiness, and it pays dividends. Not only does the process of learning reduce stress and induce euphoria, it is proven to increase life expectancy.
Being a modern-day Polymath can also create stronger social ties to your community as you have more skills to lend a helping hand to your neighbors and interacting more with other human beings in your community is renown for increased happiness levels. It’s what we crave from our ancestral hunter-gatherer days.
There’s nothing that can increase your sense of self-worth as much as learning something new. It’s also proven that humans are more prone to enjoy things which they’ve built for themselves, over something which they’ve bought or paid for someone else to build. On top of that, if you build something yourself, you’re setting yourself up perfectly to be able to fix it if something goes wrong, increasing your self-worth, your saved money and in-turn, your happiness, all in one go!
On top of all of these things, there’s something which happens when you spend less… You save more! And we all know that Being Rich Has Nothing to Do with Your Salary. It’s about how much you have saved and having savings means you can have peace of mind in case the worst happens. It means you can have more time to spend on things which really do invoke happiness; like spending time with your kids or working on personal projects.
We all know that savings can help reduce stress, give you space to grow and in turn increase your happiness. But remember; you don’t have to suffer to save. Spending less can make you happier. Next time you take a trip or plan a date try not to spend any money. I can guarantee that you will enjoy it more. It will be different, exciting and adventurous and you’ll be looking back at those days with fondness.
For further reading into the Renaissance Man ideal, read Early Retirement Extreme. This book truly did change my life for the better.